Tuesday, November 2, 2010

BEMOSA to present airport security research findings at Airport Exchange 2010

BEMOSA (Behavior Modeling for Security in Airports) will present key findings from its research on how security arrangements in airports really work at Airport Exchange 2010.
During the event, Prof. Avi Kirschenbaum, a world expert in disaster management and initiator and coordinator of BEMOSA, will make a presentation to the ACI EUROPE Aviation Security Committee. At the presentation, Kirschenbaum will share BEMOSA’s breakthrough research with a large segment of global airport authorities. More than 100 airport authorities will be represented at the event.

“In our discussions with the ACI EUROPE Aviation Security Committee, we identified the current gaps in our knowledge and practice. As we all know, security-related incidents occur truly incidentally and far apart,” said Prof Kirschenbaum. “But when they occur, they can be devastating in both human and material expenses. Airport staff have to be absolutely ready to handle them.”

Prof. Kirschenbaum added that at that critical time, there may be no time to consult a supervisor or handbook.

“In order to prevent and handle emergencies, we must ensure that our airport staff – and not only our security staff – remain alert and motivated, in short: to remain sharp,” said Prof. Kirschenbaum. “Alertness and motivation are two key tools in providing security, in addition to skills and expertise, to respond immediately to a security threat or incident. That is what BEMOSA is all about.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

EU grants €3.4 million to BEMOSA to conduct research on improving airport security

The European Union has awarded 3.4 million euro to BEMOSA (Behavior Modeling for Security in Airports) to conduct research on how to improve airport security.

Prof. Avi Kirschenbaum of the Technion’s Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management will lead the research project, which is focusing on the human rather than technological factors affecting airport security.

Airport administrations in Israel and Europe are cooperating on the project and the research will be presented at an international conference of administrators from 100 airports.

BEMOSA is a European-wide consortium consisting of 11 partners from nine different countries within the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research & Technology Development. The research project focuses on describing actual behavior in the field, with the aim of developing innovative worldwide plans for training airport staff in a way that will assist them in disaster management and risk reduction.

An initial field study of 250 airport employees has already been carried out, with Prof. Kirschenbaum finding that many employees do not operate according to guidelines.

“This stems from the fact that their training is focused on the individual while decisions are made by the group,” said Prof Kirshenbaum. “This leads to many false alarms, which cause disruption and a tremendous waste of resources. Training should be adapted to conditions in the field.

"At critical moments in an emergency, there is no time to consult a supervisor or read the manual,” Prof Kirschenbaum added. “In order to prevent disasters and deal with them properly, we have to ensure that all the teams, and not just security teams, are trained and highly motivated.”